When Henry Roque found a sick bat earlier this month, he put the bat in a bucket and told his 6-year-old son, Ryker, not to touch it. Ryker didn’t listen.
As the Associated Press reports, when Ryker got scratched by the bat Henry told him they needed to get to the hospital for a rabies shot. Ryker allegedly cried over the idea of having to get poked by a needle.
Henry “washed the wound thoroughly” and because his son seemed fine after coming in contact with the bat, he didn’t force Ryker to go to the hospital.
About a week following Ryker’s contact with the sick bat, the 6-year-old began experiencing headaches, numb fingers, hallucinations, and convulsions. His parents rushed him to the ER.
Ryker tested positive for rabies, which has a zero percent survival rate unless given the vaccine before symptoms set in, the AP reports.GoFundMe
Following his admission to the hospital, a family member set up the GoFundMe page for Ryker. They wrote:
Ryker is the most outgoing, excited boy I have ever met. This is one of the most difficult experience for our whole family. […] We need positive energy, prayers, anything we can get. Thank you so much!
On January 14, Ryker lost his battle. Another family member wrote on the page:
We are so sad to say that Ryker lost his fight last night. He is still a winner in our hearts. Thank you all for the prayers, beautiful words and generous donations. It has really meant the world. Our little baby is now an angel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a person is bitten by a bat, or if infectious materials such as saliva or brain material get into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical advice immediately. Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.
The same should be done even if you aren’t sure that the person was bitten.